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City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown discussed the University of Oklahoma incident at a rally in Love Park on Monday.

Credit: Jessica Washington

The video of University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon members chanting racial slurs, which surfaced last week, sparked Philadelphia residents to hold a rally in Love Park Monday afternoon.

The rally, which was titled Show Us Your True Colors!, was hosted by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and representatives from the “Divine Nine” — the nine founding traditionally black Greek-lettered organizations. The event sought to support the positive aspects of Greek culture while also addressing the issues brought up by the University of Oklahoma incident.

The incident which prompted the rally involved members of the University of Oklahoma’s SAE chapter, who were caught on camera shouting “There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE,” and other similarly disturbing chants. The incident sparked national outrage and discussion over the continuance of racism in America, particularly in regards to Greek culture.

Brown said she saw the issue as a major setback for race relations in the United States.

“We must get out of a pattern as a nation of taking four steps backwards, four steps forwards and then eight steps backwards,” she said.

In addition to discussing the University of Oklahoma incident, the rally also sought to highlight the positive aspects of Greek culture.

“I want the world to know that all fraternities and sororities are built on service, sisterhood and service, with academic excellence being the underpinnings,” Brown said, noting that Martin Luther King Jr. was also a member of a “Divine Nine” fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.

In her closing statement she acknowledged the progress made by blacks in the United States, yet reminded the audience that there are still a ways to go.

“We have indeed moved the needle, but when we witness and observe what happened last weekend, we are woefully reminded that we still have so much work to do,” she said.

Members of Penn’s SAE chapter were not available for comment.

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